“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” (Proverbs 31:17)
Ariel: (Origin: Hebrew) “Lioness of God”
Lioness: A female lion; Lion - of great strength and courage; a person of great importance, influence, and charm; physically able and strong.
When I think of a lioness, I think of her strength and her readiness and willingness to work. Work that pertains to preserving the life of her children and keeping her family together for her husband. I think if God’s virtuous woman was an animal, she’d be a lioness. Strangely enough, this is what my mother named me. I always knew this was what my name meant, but I never knew what my name really meant. What’s in a name, anyway? My mother and I hold competitions with each other over the most horrible names we come across during the day, every day. And my sister and I are convinced that names have personalities of their own! I mean come on, have you ever met a Josiah that wasn’t quiet yet brilliant? Or an Andrea that wasn’t a “pretty girl”? Or an Ashley that wasn’t talkative? A Steve that’s not a “funny guy”, or a guy with any exotic or slightly girly name that wasn’t gorgeous? Exactly! What we name our children is very important! And I’ve received so many compliments on how pretty my name sounds, but if only they knew what it meant! And “Wow!” at what I have my whole life to live up to! A lioness of GOD!
A lioness is protective, she’s about the business of her husband, and the business of her family, and she’s amazing at it. I need to be about GOD’s business like she’s about her husband’s, and I need to take care of my family as long as I’m in this house, like she takes care of hers. Whenever the next time I’m with a group who’s playing the, “If I were an animal…” game, I would want someone to say that I remind them of a lion because of how they see me intercede in prayer for my family, how I bring my sister to church with me faithfully, how protective I am of her and my brother, how I teach them everything I know about how to be virtuous and pure until marriage, about how my parents trust me because of my loyalty and obedience toward them, and of my strength, readiness, courage, willingness, commitment, motivation, and discipline in God, for God, and when speaking of God. I want my future husband to choose me because of my strength. He’s going to need to know that I am strong enough to have his back, and keep the household in order for him - not just with cooking and cleaning, but raising our children to be strong in God, as well. I will protect them like a lioness protects her cubs. I will hold my family together! That’s a lot of work for one woman! Imagining her strength just amazes me, because the Bible considers woman to be the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7), meaning that my husband is going to be even stronger than I. So I need to start getting stronger now, while I’m single, so that God will send me a strong man to head my household. Just knowing that a wife can only be as strong as her husband, makes me to know that I need to be as strong as possible before he comes so he’ll know where he needs to be in order to have me.
I had no idea that getting to know the virtuous woman would lead me on a path to getting to know who I am. I know that lioness is in me somewhere, I just need to find her. I know that everyone is different, but she is my key to becoming Proverbs 31:10-31 in my life.
Long story, short… Be very cautious and wise of what you name your children, it has a great effect of who they are and who they will choose to become! Oh, and thanks Mom! :)